Learning through Life

My photo
Hampshire, United Kingdom
I love how our day-to-day life can teach us lessons to help us understand our past, challenge our today, and inspire our future. We can learn through experiences, situations, conversations, songs, books, nature ... the list is endless! Live with eyes ready to see, ears ready to hear and a heart ready to be touched.

Monday, 22 November 2010

The one where God shows up

Having just come back from an amazing weekend away at the Youthwork Conference in Eastbourne - my head and heart are full of thoughts that I could share with you.   It was inspirational, encouraging, challenging - and even a little bit uncomfortable at times.  It reminded me how important it is for us all to take some time out of the ordinary - and place ourselves in an environment where we can slow down and listen to what it is God might be saying to us. Easier said than done though with today's pace of life!

So, what did I come away with that is worth sharing with you?  What pearls of wisdom did I hear that could be conveyed to you?  What experiences could I share with you to encourage you and remind you that Jesus is alive and with us?  Or, which funny story could be shared to make you smile and see the funny side of life?  (And boy do I have a good one!!)  The options seem endless!

To be honest, I am still quietly sifting through a lot of the things I heard and experienced whilst there.  Does that ever happen to you?  You come away from a conference, or service,  with so much - that you are not sure exactly what to do with it!  It is almost overwhelming.  This his how I felt on my return to Basingstoke yesterday.  I came back feeling spiritually full with my battery fully charged  -ready and willing to go for it - to inspire, challenge, teach, give, make a difference!  The only problem was though, and still is to some extent, I had no idea which direction to face before setting off!  I came back knowing I had been challenged and ready to respond in my day to day life - but how?  where? who with? I had no idea!  I guess as I continue to process and pray through these things it will all become a lot clearer to me?  I will keep you informed :)

So, all that said - was there anything that I came away with that I can encourage you with?  Yup, for sure ...

During the weekend, one question in particular was asked that is still going around in my mind today.  It has totally challenged me, and I hope, will begin to transform the way I think and act.  The context this question was asked in was in a discussion about what success looks like in youth ministry.  However, this is such a key question - and is by no means confined to youth ministry.  Are you ready to be challenged?

The question ...

What would happen in your ministry  [life, work, conversations, etc]  if God showed up?
 .... and you tuned in?

Now, although this question presented itself in two parts,  it is really only one question.  What would happen if God showed up?  I believe there is no need for the 'if' - because God does show up!  He is omnipresent, he is everywhere!  Quite simply there is no 'if' about it. 

We need to believe that God will be with us.  We need to believe that God will be there as we step out and work for him.  We need to believe God will be there when we talk to our friends.  God will show up.  In fact - he already has!

David contemplates this in Psalm 139, when he asks ...

Where can I go from your Spirit?   Where can I flee from your presence?  If I go up to the heavens, you are there;  if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 

God is always there.

So the part of the question that really matters is  ... 'and you tuned in?'

This really challenged me.  I totally believe God is there - when I run Take Off on Fridays or Lavish on Mondays.  I absolutely believe that God is there with me when I speak to friends about him, or lead a prayer time.  I really do.  But do I always respond accordingly and tune in?   Ouch.  In all honesty - no I don't.

Sadly, it is all too easy to believe that God is always with us without really stopping to tune in to him to see where he is leading, or what he is saying.  We can plan our meetings and work out what to say, without really giving God a chance.  We often rely far too much on our own strength and ideas instead of tuning into God and allowing him to work effectively through us.

It is like listening to an un-tuned radio.  It sounds crackly and distorted and cannot be corrected simply by turning the volume up.  It needs to be finely tuned.  Only then will the music, or programme (that has always been there) come through clearly and as it should.

We really do need to do more than acknowledge God's existence.  We need to ask ourselves what difference this means to us and the things that we do.  We need to take time to tune in and ask God what he wants us to be saying and doing.   Let's face it - he can do it far better than we can anyway!

If we truly believe that God will turn up and stop to tune in to him - what a difference this will make!  We can live and work with a new confidence and boldness that comes through knowing God is with us. 

Now to put this into practice ....

1 comment:

  1. very thought provoking as always -loving the blog and looking forward to the book :)


What do you think? I would love to read your thoughts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...